Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Around the Arctic August 27, 2004 - 3:38 pm

Ivory smuggler arrested


A man from Bali is now facing charges of illegal trafficking in elephant, walrus and woolly mammoth ivory and in the teeth of endangered bears, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

William Sidmore, 52, who grew up in Alaska, was arrested last week at his storage locker near Seattle, Washington after a 14-month investigation by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents.

Sidmore faces charges including smuggling, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and the theft of federal property, punishable by up to 10 years.

He had offered to sell an undercover agent a $10,000 U.S. carving he said he had made for his students in Bali from the tusk of a narwhal, which he described as the “rarest ivory in the world.”

He also said he had “a quarter million dollars worth” of stock in storage, “big Rubbermaid tubs filled with ivory” such as carvings from walrus and elephant tusks and the teeth of grizzly and sun bears.

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